A new Grocery Commissioner will be appointed in New Zealand to hold the industry to account and a Draft Code of conduct has been released for consultation, which will ensure that suppliers get a fair deal. This announcement follows the recent ban on supermarkets blocking competitors’ access to land to set up new stores.
The Government has just released details on the form the Grocery Commissioner will take. This is one of its steps towards addressing the findings of the Commerce Commission’s grocery market study.
It says a Grocery Commissioner will be designed to ramp up competition. The commissioner will be based in the Commerce Commission, and will help keep pressure on the grocery sector, by providing annual state-of-competition reviews.
“The Food & Grocery Council welcomes this move. Basing the Commissioner at the Commission shows how serious the Government is about what’s been happening across the supermarket sector, both from a shopper and a supplier point of view,” says the FGC.
You can read more on the Government’s announcement here: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/new-supermarket-watchdog-latest-action-give-kiwis-fairer-deal
The Government also has released the discussion document on the mandatory supermarket Code of Conduct. Submissions close on 10 August and we encourage all industry members to have their say. You can read the document here: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/grocery-code-of-conduct/
The FGC will be making a submission.
The FGC says the Government’s latest steps will help and lead towards better and fairer deals for supermarket shoppers and suppliers.
“Establishing a Grocery Commissioner inside the Commerce Commission is a great move,” the FGC says.
“This shows very clearly just how serious the Government is about what’s been happening across the supermarket sector, both from a shopper and a supplier point of view.
“The Commissioner will hold supermarkets to account and help promote the competition shoppers and the sector as a whole so desperately need.
“A hard-nosed approach is exactly what is needed, and this is the right way to go to ensure that happens.
“The Commission has a wealth of information at its fingertips the commissioner will be able to call on.
“As well as intimate knowledge of economic and competition regulation, fair trading, and consumer protection, the Commission now has a very deep understanding of the grocery sector thanks to its work on the grocery market study.
“If the experience of having the telecommunications regulator inside the Commerce Commission is anything to go by, the supermarkets can now expect their feet to be held to the fire over everything from pricing at the checkout to the egregious and stand-over tactics suffered by suppliers during negotiations over the past 10 or so years.
“We are looking forward to the legislation establishing the Commissioner receiving passage through Parliament as a matter of priority and for a Commissioner to be appointed soon after that.”
The Food & Grocery Council also welcomes the discussion document on the mandatory supermarket Code of Conduct and encourages companies and individuals to make a submission.
“Since 2010 we have been calling for a code to ensure suppliers get a fair deal, and this is taking us one step closer.
“Commerce Minister David Clark is to be congratulated for advancing this work so swiftly, and now we await the next steps to implementing the Commerce Commission’s 14 recommendations, including the final shape of the new wholesale regulation rules later this year.”